Significant adults in a child’s life key to stress management
TORONTO – Helping children recognize four signs and symptoms of their own stress is key to helping them become confident and productive adults, according to experts at The Psychology Foundation of Canada. Back-to-school is filled with increased excitement and challenges for children and with some kids jam-packed with uncharacteristic behaviours too. Adults are pivotal in working with children to adopt strategies that enable them to manage the inevitable highs and lows of a new school year.
The Psychology Foundation of Canada has been helping parents, educators and caregivers with the awareness, knowledge and skills to help children become more resilient and healthier by learning to manage their stress through their Kids Have Stress Too!® program.
“Stress is a normal part of life even for kids. It helps to motivate us and can even be beneficial”, says Dr. Robin Alter, Co-Chair of The Psychology Foundation of Canada’s Kids Have Stress Too! program and practicing child psychologist. “If we don’t recognize when we are stressed and then appropriately de-stress, stress can become counterproductive and overwhelming, causing a lot of physical and psychological problems over the long term. But if we learn to identify the stress response, and de-stress when we feel too stressed, we can handle stress appropriately and have satisfying, productive and exciting lives.”
The Psychology Foundation of Canada’s Kids Have Stress Too! program is a broad based prevention program which includes videos, lesson plans and various age-appropriate tool kits. An integral part of the program is helping to identify, and having the children themselves recognize, the signs and symptoms of stress with these four indicators:
- CHANGES IN YOUR BODY: tense muscles, headaches, stomach aches, rapid heartbeat, being cold or hot, skin rash, shakiness, disturbed sleep, fatigue, illness
- KNOWING YOUR MIND: poor concentration, forgetfulness, difficulty problem solving, being easily distracted, confusion, being irrational
- CHECKING YOUR EMOTIONS: fear, anxiety, frustration, sadness, worry, anger, panic, being hyper-sensitive, irritable, or feeling helpless or hopeless, withdrawing and difficulty regulating emotions
- DEVIATIONS IN BEHAVIOURS: whining, crying, nail biting, day dreaming, fighting with others, being overly cautious, performing poorly in school, eating more or less than usual, bullying, having difficulty calming down, not listening, participating or cooperating, remaining quiet, or becoming detached or withdrawn.
“The Psychology Foundation of Canada has a 40+ year of history developing programs and resources to help children become confident and productive adults. We use the best psychological knowledge to give Canadian children and their families the tools to function and navigate more effectively throughout life,” says Harriet Lewis, President, Board of Trustees at The Psychology Foundation of Canada. “Helping children to manage their stress early on in life will help become the foundation for health and wellness throughout their lives.”
ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGY FOUNDATION OF CANADA:
The Psychology Foundation of Canada is a registered charity with the mission to apply the best psychological knowledge to create practical programs that help youth and their families become proactive with their mental health and navigate more effectively throughout life. Led by a volunteer board of prominent psychologists, business and community leaders, a small national and regional staff have built a network of trainers and program facilitators to deliver the programs and related workshops in local communities across Canada. www.psychologyfoundation.org
SOURCE The Psychology Foundation of Canada